A ruined pair of pants is only occasionally due to an accident. Usually, pants wear out over time due to bad habits—day by day, week by week, month by month. So how do you keep your great pair of trousers looking fresh? Stick to these three keys, and you can ensure that your trousers will stay crisp and looking like new.
Laundry: Read Before You Wash
First, a primer. If you aren’t already making a regular habit of it, you need to sort your laundry before washing it.
Start out by sorting according to color. Get the white clothes out first. Other colors have the tendency to “bleed” during washing. Over time this tints the fringes of your crisp white shirts and pants and turns them into an off-white that will never look good, no matter how hard you try to start a new trend.
Next, read the tag. Manufacturers don’t put washing instructions on trousers for their own health. They do it because you’ll get more out of the product if you know how to wash it properly. If it says “machine wash cold,” then that’s what you need to do.
The instructions may look more like Egyptian hieroglyphics than actual words. If so, then refer to the washing symbol guide at TextileAffairs.com. The simple infographic will have you reading the code to better laundry in no time.
Ironing: Press Your Pants the Proper Way
There’s a sequence and a rhythm to a proper iron. You’ll avoid most mistakes if you tackle each step in order:
- Turn your pants inside out. This allows you to iron the pockets, the fly area, the seams—even the hem.
- Turn it to the side. Iron the top half of your pants first. You can do this by keeping the waist band on the narrow end of the board and letting the rest of the trousers hang over the side. This makes turning the waist easy so you’ll have easy access to both sides.
- Lay the pants flat. Iron the bottoms of the legs. To create a crease, make sure that you iron beyond the edge of the pants.
Finally, don’t over-iron your pants. Simply press them enough to flatten them out, create a crease, and move on to the next step. Over-ironing leads to excessive heat, which can and will damage most fabrics.
Avoid Common Mistakes
The best investment you can make in your pants is simply to treat them with the respect you’d give any other valuable possession. Stick to common sense, refer to instructions before you try anything too bold, and avoid common mistakes.
- Don’t let stains sit. Remember the phrase “a stitch in time saves nine?” It also applies here. The more quickly you get to a stain, the less chance the fabric has to absorb it.
- Don’t wash jeans too often. Jeans are the low-maintenance friend of the pant world. When you do wash them, make sure to turn them inside out. Don’t wash them as often as you would a T-shirt.
- Always read the label. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating. You need to know what your labels say if you’re going to keep your pants vibrant and crisp.
Now that you know how not to ruin a perfectly good pair of trousers, it’s a good time to find a great pair of trousers. Shop our collections to choose from many pairs of pants that will be worthy of your time and attention. And don’t worry—our labels are easy to read.